HAR CEO Bob Hale to retire, René Galvan tapped as successor

Hale to step down in 2026 after 39 years in Realtor association’s top role

Houston Association of Realtors CEO Bob Hale to Retire
HAR's Bob Hale and René Galvan (HAR, LinkedIn)

It’s the end of an era, as Bob Hale plans to retire from the Houston Association of Realtors. 

The President and CEO of HAR will conclude his 52-year tenure at HAR, including 37 years at the helm, in 2026. 

The HAR board of directors unanimously voted to elect HAR’s executive vice president, René Galvan, as Hale’s successor. Galvan has served on HAR’s managerial team for 28 years, originally as the director of business development. He started as executive vice president after a brief stint as CEO of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale in 1999. He also works on the National Association of Realtors’ finance committee.  

Galvan’s vision for HAR involves continued technological innovation and strategic growth, ensuring the organization remains at the forefront of the real estate industry, according to a news release from HAR. He is expected to take office on Jan. 31, 2026. 

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Hale is a prominent figure in Houston’s real estate scene and is credited with transforming HAR into a powerful brand boasting over 51,000 members, the second largest realtor association in the nation, behind Miami. The National Association of Realtors listed Hale on its “25 Most Influential People in the American Real Estate Industry” in 2003 and 2006. Hale ranked 29th on the 2024 Swanepoel Power 200, which highlights the most influential executives in the world of residential real estate. 

Hale was a lawyer when he began working in the real estate industry, in 1970. He served as the government affairs director for the Texas Association of Realtors in Austin. He began his career with HAR in 1973 before rising to the role of CEO in 1988. 

The shakeup isn’t the only turnover happening at the association. Century 21 Exclusive Properties real estate agent Thomas Mouton was installed as the 2024 HAR chairman succeeding Side Inc.’s Cathy Treviño, who had served for one year. 

HAR is one of over two dozen Realtor associations, brokerage firms and real estate teams embroiled in a statewide antitrust lawsuit. Texas-based homebuilder QJ Team LLC and holding company Five Points Holdings have accused them of engaging in a concealed conspiracy to stifle competitions and force sellers to bear undue expenses. The case comes on the heels of the $1.8 billion Sitzer/Burnett verdict against the National Association of Realtors, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America. HAR declined to comment on the lawsuit. 

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